Information published on 2 June 2015 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 451.

UIC represents the rail sector at the 2015 World Summit of the ITF-OECD International Transport Forum in Leipzig

UIC actively participated in the 2015 World Summit of the ITF-OECD International Transport Forum held from 26 – 29 May 2015 in Leipzig, Germany.
Every year in the German city this annual summit brings together all ministers, leaders of international institutions and associations and players committed to the development of mobility and transport systems across the world.

More than 1,050 participants were present at the International Transport Forum summit which attracted 54 Ministers of Transport from all parts of the world.
The 2015 World Summit was chaired by Mr Simon Bridges, Minister of Transport of New-Zealand, who had succeeded the French presidency, together with Mr José Viegas, ITF Secretary-General.
The overall theme of the 2015 Summit was “Transport, Trade and Tourism”.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, was invited by ITF to represent the rail sector and express views from the railway operating companies, in several important parts of the programme of the Summit, providing UIC with a unique opportunity to present to a high-level panel of participants (Ministers, leaders of international organisations) the challenges and strategies of the rail transport sector in connection with the topics selected for this summit.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux actively participated in:

  • The Panel Session on 27 May on “Crossing continents: How new routes and technology can improve Surface Transport”
  • The Press Conference of the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) on 27 May
  • -The Open Ministerial Session “A Series of Perspectives from Sector leaders in exchange with Ministers” on 28 May

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux presented to the attending 54 Ministers from all continents the perspectives of growth of rail passenger and freight transport across the world (in particular based on OECD-ITF forecasts), with a focus on connectivity, optimised multimodality, and sustainable transport. He invited all attending ministers to support railways in their efforts to become a successful transport mode serving the economy and the society as a whole. He emphasised on this occasion that the “Train to Paris” international campaign would highlight all the initiatives of the rail sector aiming to contribute to an effective climate protection and CO2 emission reduction policy. The climax of this campaign will be on 28 November as a series of international “Train to Paris” trains, including trains from Asia, will travel to Paris for COP 21.

The Restricted Ministers’ Round Table: Rail Connectivity, Capacity, Liberalisation.
This Round Table provided opportunity for intensive exchanges between participants, Ministers and leaders from the rail sector.

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed: “There are many possible and different approaches to the theme of connectivity, so I will try to bring a global approach and share with you some findings from our own members around the world or from our own studies. Beyond the fact that we have all learned here that the need for mobility of goods and people will treble or quadruple in the years to come, I would like to share some interesting figures with you.

Two billion people in the world will become urban in the next 10 years; two billion people in the world (not the same ones) have no access whatsoever to mobility; and two billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day. So this means that if the need for mobility increases we will have to re-invent some mobility towards more capacity and more productivity.

This means that we will have to bring new connectivity which links to accessibility, which is the UN’s definition of sustainable development. So in terms of passenger traffic, this urbanisation will need to focus on investment and strategy for intra-city transport, and intra-city by rail needs to be connected with the other modes of transport within the city. And when you’ve done that you need to link with the other cities – with inter-city transport – hopefully by rail and high speed rail within the range of 1500km for instance.

For freight, the issue as was discussed on other panels is that of corridors. Corridors with their advantages of capacity and productivity are the backbone, with a connection through hubs with other modes of transport for the last mile or the first mile.

So you can see that stations and logistics hubs are really the key to the new connectivity. In past years they were usually considered as pieces of architecture or the last additions when there isn’t any money left, but now they have become the front piece because they are the real keys of the web.

Beyond the further evolution of technology to improve interoperability and beyond these issues which UIC – as the technical platform for all railway undertakings and infrastructure managers, whether they are integrated or separated – I personally think along with a number of members that the new evolution will not be technological per se. It will not be on the rail, or the catenary, or the wheel, or the engine. It will come from IT – from information technology – and this is indeed a new form of connectivity.

The definition of connectivity is very broad: it is access to information; it is sharing information and the dematerialisation of information. And this can be done through a number of systems and databases such as the MERITS database for timetables, the PRIFIS database for prices, the HERMES system for sharing market prices and what the e-ticket is going to become. This is linked to the study that we are developing at UIC on the Universal Railway Ticket (URT) that can be one and unique among all operators. And this definition of connectivity will certainly improve services and certainly cut costs.” }

Abstracts of presentations by UIC Director General will be available in the following edition of UIC e-news.

A video interview by ITF-OECD Media Team summarises the messages that the UIC Director General wished to deliver at the 2015 edition of the ITF-OECD World Summit: http://2015.internationaltransportforum.org/videos

Further side events were organised on the premises of the Leipzig ITF Summit, in particular by the SloCat association.

For more information, please contact Paul Véron, Director of Communications: veron@uic.org

Or visit the website of the International Transport Forum: www.internationaltransportforum.org